The Business Visa for Germany: Immigration Lawyers

The Business Visa and Germany: Immigration Lawyers

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The Business Visa is required for those who have a short-term stay in Germany and is a form of Schengen Visa. Thus, should one need to visit Germany to attend a business fair, meet clients or business partners, attend a conference or seminar etc., this is the visa they should consider.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our immigration law team will guide you through the application process, and provide expert legal advice in any ensuing legal conflicts.

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The immigration lawyers at S&E will oversee your Business Visa legal issues.

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Advice on the Business Visa

As well as the required documentation, there are other considerations to be borne in mind. Here are some additional points to consider:

Processing time: In most cases, the application processing will take up to two weeks but may be completed earlier. However, in some cases, the authorities may seek to investigate further, and thus the application processing may take longer. Once again, the applicant must submit the application early.

Visa Fee: In applying for the Business Visa, there is a fee of around €60, which must be paid regardless of whether an application is successful. However, there are some cases where the cost will be reduced. If you are not sure you are eligible for the reduction, please contact our office directly.

False documents: Where a person is caught with false documents in their application, they may face further consequences and the refusal of the visa. It is suspicions of such instances which can lead to longer processing time.

Limitations of the Business Visa: The Business Visa is not designed for long-term residency in Germany. Should a person wish to set up a business or live long-term in Germany, they must apply for another visa form. The grounds for seeking an extension are outlined on our Schengen Visa page and listed later in this article.

Duration of stay in Germany: As with other Schengen Visas, one has a variety of visas to choose from as to whether they require a single-entry visa, a double-entry visa or a multi-entry visa. However, with all Business Visas, the rule of 90 days within 180 still applies. If one wishes to remain longer in Germany, other visas may be more appropriate once again.

If you have any further questions or issues that have not been answered here, please do not hesitate to contact our office directly.

Applying for the Business Visa: the Process

When applying for a Business Visa, one should have the following documentation:

  • Completed application form,
  • A Declaration of Accuracy of Information,
  • Two identical photographs which fulfil the set requirements,
  • A valid and in-date passport,
  • Information concerning health insurance which is valid for the entirety of the Schengen Zone,
  • Travel itinerary including flight reservation,
  • Proof of accommodation such as hotel bookings or an invitation from a friend/relative to stay with them,
  • Proof of financial status/employment status – copies of recent bank statements and payslips,
  • Business references.

Other documents may also be required in some cases by the German embassy or consulate in question:

  • A detailed schedule of business meetings (for stays over 30 days),
  • Invitation letter from business partners/contacts (in cases involving consultancy work),
  • Certificate of Association,
  • Certificate of company registration.

When applying for a Business Visa, the applicant should bring these documents to the appropriate German embassy or consulate.

One can apply for a Business Visa three months in advance at the earliest. It takes time to process all the requirements for the visa, so one should try to have everything in three weeks before the flight at the latest. Furthermore, the relevant authorities may wish to interview the candidate as well. Therefore, the earlier an applicant applies, the better to ensure that there are no last-minute difficulties.

Extending a Business Visa

It is possible to extend a Business Visa, but it isn’t easy. One requires solid reasons for doing so and must demonstrate proof to validate the claims made.

When applying for an extension, one should do so before the expiration of the visa as a holder will be deemed to be illegally overstaying their visa should they do so afterwards – even where they may have a valid reason for it.

Moreover, one should only extend the visa to the country in which they plan to stay afterwards, as the application can take time to process. During the processing time, one may not be allowed to leave the country in question.

When it comes to the application, one needs the following documents:

  • Application form: for the short-term visa extension,
  • Passport: This passport must also have the current Business Visa,
  • One photo: which bears in mind all visa photo requirements.
  • Proof of Income: Demonstrate that you can financially support yourself during the intended extended period,
  • Proof of Travel Health Insurance – that covers the whole Schengen Area for the intended extension period,
  • The documents demonstrate the situation in question and, thus, the need to get a visa extension.

The most important aspect of the extension process is the reason put forward for it. Here are the reasons allowed for an extension:

  1. Late Entry: Under this ground, one can seek to extend their stay in the Schengen Zone because they entered the zone after their visa had already started. In other words, their visa started on the 3rd of the month, but they only entered the Schengen Zone on the 17th of the month in question. In this case, the applicant can seek to extend their visit by two weeks.
  2. Humanitarian Reasons: Under this ground, a person can have their visa extended should they need to do so to complete medical treatment or attend a funeral (for example). Essentially if a person has experienced hardship or their family in the Schengen Zone has experienced hardship, they may extend their stay for a short period.
  3. Force Majeure: This is also described as “an act of God” and is an event beyond the applicant’s control. The following circumstances can be considered under a “force majeure” – extreme weather conditions preventing flights, natural disasters such as earthquakes, a dangerous domestic situation arising in the applicant’s home country and even war erupting. Once the problem quietens, the person can return to their home country. However, should there be no change to the situation, the applicant can seek to extend their Business Visa further or apply for another form of residence permit.
  4. Personal Reasons: Should a person’s reason for remaining and extending their visa not fully satisfy any of these reasons, they can also seek to do so using personal reasons. However, as these cases are decided through an interview, the applicant must have solid grounds. The immigration authorities will have the final say regarding whether the applicant will be granted the extension.

Once applicants complete the paperwork and the reason is established, they will face an interview on the issue. This interview is crucial and can play a key role in determining whether their application is successful.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to extend your Business Visa, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office directly, and our lawyers will be able to assist you.

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Practice Group: German Immigration Law

Practice Group:
German Immigration Law

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Aykut Elseven

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Jens Schmidt

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Sandra Zimmerling